INTERNATIONAL SOS and Tropicair have formed an alliance to create the largest skilled and responsive medical evacuation service in Papua New Guinea, International SOS said in a statement.

Expanded capabilities of the providers will deliver faster access to quality medical evacuation services and, consequently, improved health outcomes for people across the country, the company said.

Increasing both the capability and capacity of aero-medical evacuation services in and around PNG, the partnership combines International SOS’ 20 years of international standard aero-medical expertise in PNG with Tropicair’s local fleet of nine aircraft, including a new Twin Otter that can access airfields as short as 650 metres.

A signing ceremony was held in Port Moresby on Wednesday 20 May and was attended by Australia’s minister for trade and investment Andrew Robb.

Commenting on the partnership, International SOS regional managing director, Michael Gardner said both company’s experience combined will ensure the people in PNG and surrounding region will have access to rapid and professional air ambulance and medical assistance.

“Our clients operating in Papua New Guinea can be confident they are fulfilling duty of care to their employees with our improved capability to medically evacuate people from the most remote areas of the country, and transfer them to either Port Moresby, Australia or further afield depending on the required treatment,” Mr Gardner said.

International SOS said the partnership with Tropicair will further complement the company’s substantial resources in Port Moresby, which include two medical clinics, training services, medical response and evacuation teams.

International SOS has more than 350 medical and operational staff on the ground in PNG, 86 per cent of which are PNG nationals.